Bend Travel Guide

Set between the dramatic Cascade Mountains of southwestern Oregon and the Rockies, Bend is currently one of the state’s most rapidly-growing cities. Not long ago, this community was a well-kept secret, only popular with outdoors enthusiasts. Today, however, it is one of the most popular vacation spots in the region, largely due to its spectacular scenery, year-round sports opportunities and a great selection of quality resorts to choose from.

In Bend itself, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied in the evening including microbreweries that serve up their own brews, a good selection of eateries, shops and theaters. Most of your time during the day will probably be spent at one of the parks or nature preserves, or enjoying the many sporting activities that are on offer just outside the city limits.

A visit to the Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau is a good place to start before taking a drive along the 87-mile loop known as the Cascade Lakes Highway. This is one of the most popular outings, particularly as it doesn’t require a good level of fitness. You’ll pass by numerous lakes and reservoirs that are perfect places for a picnic and a swim, and you’ll be treated to fantastic panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains. For the more energetic, there are many trails leading off the route.


High Desert Museum: is the perfect place to gain basic understanding of central Oregon’s land formations and its wildlife. There are a number of examples of animal life here and a show involving indigenous birds of prey.

Mount Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort: from November to July, this resort attracts skiers to its downhill runs and cross-country trails. Bachelor’s season is one of the longest in the US.

The Deschutes River: offers some of the best fishing around, in an incredibly scenic setting. Fishing in the Deschutes can be combined with a camping expedition that includes visiting some of the area’s other streams and lakes, making for a memorable outing.

Golf: there are over 25 golf courses in the greater Bend area, representing various levels of difficulty. You’ll probably find as many courses as you’ll find great fishing spots here.

Smith Rock State Park: located in nearby Redmond, this park boasts some of the best trails around and is in fact reported to feature the best climbing routes in the US.